Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

ohlawl
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby ohlawl » Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:03 am

1) What score did you get?
161 (Oct 2010)

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
Kaplan

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
Kaplan, but stopped going halfway through and did the lessons online.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
From the middle of June until the day before the exam. Most of the time I was at the library or a coffee stop and tried to put in at least 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.

5) How many preptests did you do?
12 timed, plus various individual sections.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
Focus on RC more. I knew it was my weak point and I always put off working on it. I would also NOT take a prep course. While it did help me a lot at first, halfway through the course I felt most of my class hadn't learned anything. This was confirmed after a girl told me she was excited for getting a 148, her highest after a month of studying. I think if I had just bought the books people on here like (the Bibles and such), it would have saved me money and time. I don't regret taking the class - certainly does help motivate you - but I think the money would have been better spent somewhere else.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
I was PTing higher than this score, but I am not die-hard enough to do a retake. My diagnostic was a 153, however, so I am happy I at least overcame the 160 mark. Also I want to thank TLS for inspiring me with all the awesome advice in this thread!

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catsparka
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby catsparka » Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:49 am

1) What score did you get?
179

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
Powerscore Logic Games Bible
Powerscore Logical Reasoning Bible
All three of the LSAC preptest books (10 Actual etc)
8 or 9 of the more recent preptests

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
None.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
I started studied a little less than 3 months before the test. A month and a half during the summer, and a month during the school year.

5) How many preptests did you do?
Around 40?

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I would space out the PTs more.
Last edited by catsparka on Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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DrackedaryMaster
Posts: 181
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby DrackedaryMaster » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:09 pm

1) What Score did you get?
163

2) What Books did you use?
Power Score LR Bible (!!!!!!)
Power Score LG Bible (!!!!)
10, 10 more, Next 10, Super Prep (!!!!!)

3) What Prep Courses did you take?
PowerScore - 2007 - let’s just state for the record that if you aren’t going to do the homework or make the serious time commitment, you’re going to waste your money

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during summer, etc)
3 months, everyday after work. I’m mobilized in Delaware at the moment, so I got to study in a nice, quiet hotel room with a good-sized desk.

5) How many Prep-Tests did you take?
43 (but only half of those were timed, the rest was un-timed practice)

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
Timing, timing, timing. The majority of my -22 came at the finishing/end of a section. Nice to know the accuracy was there. Also, I should have practiced with the two small crappy desks in the lecture halls. Having to go back and forth between desks on the bubbling and the booklet ate up more time than I ever thought it would.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions?
Yes, I would like to thank the TLS board for all their help in getting me to do all the things I should have been doing the first two times I took the LSAT. I have to admit, I had not planned to do this again until I happened to stumble across TLS the night the June 2010 LSAT scores were released, and I got bit by the LSAT bug. I told myself I’d give it one more shot using the methods people here have mentioned. Thankfully, that time paid off.

To my fellow sub-150 scorers, listen to these people very carefully. They’re not kidding around in regards to the amount of time it takes to study and improve on this thing. The game-breaker for me was when I finally realized how important it was to understand the question-types and how to “think” depending on what the question stem was about. That alone slashed my LR misses in half. On LG, it was a matter of doing every game possible…multiple times if time-permitting. When you get to a point of quickly recognizing linear/grouping/matching games, etc, you’ll quickly realize the set-ups are similar, and to some extent, so are the inferences. Also the more games I did, the easier I found it to remember the rules and find the inferences while diagramming. Once you can do this, you’ll save boatloads of time drawing unnecessary hypos because you’ll be able to eliminate answer choices at a much quicker rate simply through rule recognition. (Unfortunately, the pressure got to me on the last two games of PT61, but don’t let it happen to you). On RC, pray that there is no Noguchi passage (j/k). Here, it was just do as many as possible, read quickly enough to understand and remember that if its not in the passage, its not in the passage. The Viewstamp method from the RC Bible is useful, but might be a little overboard. You’ll have to find a reliable and consistent method that works for you.

Finally, my most important word of advice. If you are going for a 160, then you’d better be studying like you’re going for a 170+. This gives you a margin of error to work with come test day, if you get less than ideal test conditions or the curve sucks. Plus, you never know, your grasp of the material may take you to the point where you can handle even the most challenging of LSAT questions. Don’t let the LSAC repeater data fool you. Just because no sub-150 scorer has hit 170+ doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just means that they were smarter than both you and me to have (A) Cancelled or (B) Not taken a real LSAT until they were ready.

octneedy
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby octneedy » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:30 pm

1) What score did you get?

161 then 165

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
Both Bibles

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
Testmasters full length

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
For both scores I took the summer off and studied. The second time around I had a part time job.

5) How many preptests did you do?
Starting from year 2000, all of them. I even went and got the most recent tests I could find off Amazon.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I wish more practice tests existed. Also, I would've practiced doing two/three reading comp sections in a row just to improve my stamina.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Don't give up, sounds so stupid, but initially I was scoring sooo low and I never even thought I'd hit the 160 mark. I did all the homework and I used to spend hours going over questions trying to understand why I got it wrong and how I could make sure I would get it right next time. After awhile, one day, I just knew how to spot the right answers out of all the wrong ones. Also, be aware that you have to change mindsets for RC, LR and LG. They all use different analytical skills and methods.

Specifically for the practice tests, make sure to include an experimental section and stimulate exact testing conditions. (i.e. going to the restroom only during 15 min break, keeping a timer going for said 15 min break etc.)

nStiver
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:15 am

Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby nStiver » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:33 pm

1) What score did you get?

158, 164, 163

2) What books did you use?

Powerscore Logic Games Bible, Logical Reasoning Bible. Kaplan Mastery

3) What courses did you take?

I took a Kaplan course, but I do not recommend it. But then again, my teacher was awful. She ended the class 1-2 hours early every day and was proud of it, like teaching faster was better. She would boast that "None of the other teachers finish that fast! Wow!". She acted annoyed when students asked questions and she blew through the material as fast as she could.

The best part about the course is that they give you tons of materials to work with. They literally give you a 2.5 foot high pile of books, printed on very thin paper. They give you thousands of real problems to work with. The most useful book they give you is the Mastery Practice, which breaks down hundreds of lsat questions into various categories and presents them in order of increasing difficulty.

However, I can not recommend the Kaplan course to my fellow students because, in my humble opinion, the quality of their instruction is inferior to many other test prep companies. I do not even think courses are necessary, but if you really feel that you must take one, shell out the extra $ and take a course with PowerScore, TM, or Manhattan LSAT. These companies provide the sophisticated test taker with the means to score very well on the LSAT if you put in the necessary amount of work. No course or prep book will help you without hard work, however, so do not take a course in the hope that it will motivate you to study--that must come from within.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions?

I studied off and on for a little over a year. During this time, I took the test three times. I studied during school, when school was out, when I was working a lot, and when I hardly worked at all.

5) I did almost all of the prep tests.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again.

SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP!!!! The moral of my story is sleep!! Get on a regular sleep cycle at least two weeks before you take the test. Go to bed early, get up early. All of your hard work could end up being for nothing if you do not get enough sleep the night before the test. This is a very real danger. I am sure that every year 1000s of test takers score drastically below their PT average because they did not sleep well the night before the test. This happened to me, please learn from my mistakes so it does not happen to you.

Allow me to explain. When I first decided to attend law school I took a practice LSAT which was proctored by law students at the University of New Mexico. I scored a 147. I moved up fairly quickly once I started studying. I took a Kaplan course, but found that self study and the Bibles were more effective. One can not expect to improve off of the 4 proctored tests Kaplan gives you in their course. Hence, I began to work through the tests. I took the real LSAT and I scored a 158, which was somewhat disappointing. I vowed to improve my score, so I studied intensely for a few more months, practiced the shit out of logic games, and did more practice tests. My second LSAT I got a 164, the 90th percentile. While this is a good score, I still knew I could do better. I began to do a section of LG every day. I eventually started to score in the mid 170s on practice tests. By this point, I knew the LSAT like the back of my hand. I was supremely comfortable with any and all logic games. I began to take tests with only 30 minutes per section. I got to the point where I could score in the 170s while only allowing myself 30 minute sections.

I had come a long way since my 147 diagnostic. Needless to say, I was quite impressed with myself. I liked the attention I got from my friends when they raved about my 90th percentile score. I knew that if I got in the mid 170s, I would have done better than almost 99% of test takers. I began to envision the scholarships and the prestigious law schools. Most of all, I was salivating over the prospect of earning a six figure salary right out of the gate.

However, this attitude caused me to let my guard down. Although I knew the test inside and out, I did not cover all of my bases: I neglected to get onto a regular sleep schedule. The week prior to the test, I stayed up late reading and hanging out with my wife. Why worry? Hell, I could take this test with my eyes closed! The farthest thing from my mind was the possibility that I would not sleep well the night before the test.

So, finally Friday night rolls around. I am totally relaxed about the test, and feel ready to rock it. I have a cup of tea and climb into bed around 9 p.m. I lay there with my eyes open for a few hours. This can not be happening. Why am I having trouble sleeping? Of all nights, why tonight? Oh my God, all of my hard work could be for nothing if I don't get to sleep soon! Shit!!! I try not to let it bother me. To LATE! Its 1:45 am! I finally take a few Tylenol PM and crash out around 3 am. I get up at 6:30 and can barely write my name. I try to do some logic games to warm up my brain, but the words make no sense.

In this confused state drove to the test center. I pounded down 4 cups of coffee, and I actually started to feel pretty good! The test began, and I felt like I was doing great! I finished each section early. I left the test center thinking that I had at least scored in the mid 170s, like I had literally been doing for weeks. The weeks go by, and I feel better and better about my prospects. I had done it! I had beaten the odds and scored very well on three and a half hours of sleep! Finally, I open up the email from LSAT. 163. One point worse that my last score, before I decided to retake.

Although I thought I did well, the lack of sleep did me in. On this test, the margin of error is so small that you can not afford to have an "off day". I missed 21 questions. A few mistakes here and there, and your score will plummet. This was my 3rd and final LSAT score. Literally months of hard work were down the toilet. I did however, learn one very important lesson: You can master the LSAT technically, but no amount of work will save you if you do not take care of the fundamentals. Without the basics: sleep, food, mental clarity, etc, you will not be able to perform to the highest extent of your abilities.

Sure, I wish I could go back and retake the test, but I can not. Many doors are now closed to me because of my lack of foresight. I deserve the score I got because I did not take care of the most basic necessity, sleep. I think people need to hear about this because I am sure that this kind of thing happens to LSAT takers all of the time. YOU MUST BE PREPARED! The more time and energy you invest in this test, the more important it is for you to take care of the basics. Get on a regular sleep schedule. Don't eat anything that will upset your stomach. Be prepared for any bodily function, like getting your period or being sick.

Seriously, if you don't sleep the night before, just take an absence and sign up for the next LSAT. It won't count against you and it won't count as a test taken, like canceling will. Don't try to be a tough guy/girl and take the test anyway. This is too important for you to make that mistake. If reading this long post helps just one person avoid disaster, I will be happy.

7) Misc comments/suggestions

Aside from taking care of the fundamentals, the most important factor in getting a good score is hard work. It sounds cliche, but the amount of time it takes to improve on this test is huge. Turn off the cell phone. Make sure your family knows that you will be spending less time with them for a few months. Cut down on the social life. You have to make sacrifices to get what you want, but the test is learnable. I believe that almost anyone can drastically improve on the LSAT with enough practice. Sure, for a very small percentage of people, the LSAT is just beyond them. If you have gotten through 4 years of college, you are almost certainly not one of these people. Not everyone can have a 180, but plenty of people can break the 160+ barrier, and I am sure you can too.

Thanks for reading my long ass post, and remember, get enough sleep :) !
Last edited by nStiver on Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

noahzak
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:31 pm

Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby noahzak » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:23 pm

nStiver wrote:1) What score did you get?

158, 164, 163

2) What books did you use?

Powerscore Logic Games Bible, Logical Reasoning Bible. Kaplan Mastery

3) What courses did you take?

I took a Kaplan course, but I do not recommend it. But then again, my teacher was awful. She ended the class 1-2 hours early every day and was proud of it, like teaching faster was better. She would boast that "None of the other teachers finish that fast! Wow!". She acted annoyed when students asked questions and she blew through the material as fast as she could.

The best part about the course is that they give you tons of materials to work with. They literally give you a 2.5 foot high pile of books, printed on very thin paper. They give you thousands of real problems to work with. The most useful book they give you is the Mastery Practice, which breaks down hundreds of lsat questions into various categories and presents them in order of increasing difficulty.

However, I can not recommend the Kaplan course to my fellow students because, in my humble opinion, the quality of their instruction is inferior to many other test prep companies. I do not even think courses are necessary, but if you really feel that you must take one, shell out the extra $ and take a course with PowerScore, TM, or Manhattan LSAT. These companies provide the sophisticated test taker with the means to score very well on the LSAT if you put in the necessary amount of work. No course or prep book will help you without hard work, however, so do not take a course in the hope that it will motivate you to study--that must come from within.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions?

I studied off and on for a little over a year. During this time, I took the test three times. I studied during school, when school was out, when I was working a lot, and when I hardly worked at all.

5) I did almost all of the prep tests.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again.

SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP!!!! The moral of my story is sleep!! Get on a regular sleep cycle at least two weeks before you take the test. Go to bed early, get up early. All of your hard work could end up being for nothing if you do not get enough sleep the night before the test. This is a very real danger. I am sure that every year 1000s of test takers score drastically below their PT average because they did not sleep well the night before the test. This happened to me, please learn from my mistakes so it does not happen to you.

Allow me to explain. When I first decided to attend law school I took a practice LSAT which was proctored by law students at the University of New Mexico. I scored a 147. I moved up fairly quickly once I started studying. I took a Kaplan course, but found that self study and the Bibles were more effective. One can not expect to improve off of the 4 proctored tests Kaplan gives you in their course. Hence, I began to work through the tests. I took the real LSAT and I scored a 158, which was somewhat disappointing. I vowed to improve my score, so I studied intensely for a few more months, practiced the shit out of logic games, and did more practice tests. My second LSAT I got a 164, the 90th percentile. While this is a good score, I still knew I could do better. I began to do a section of LG every day. I eventually started to score in the mid 170s on practice tests. By this point, I knew the LSAT like the back of my hand. I was supremely comfortable with any and all logic games. I began to take tests with only 30 minutes per section. I got to the point where I could score in the 170s while only allowing myself 30 minute sections.

I had come a long way since my 147 diagnostic. Needless to say, I was quite impressed with myself. I liked the attention I got from my friends when they raved about my 90th percentile score. I knew that if I got in the mid 170s, I would have done better than almost 99% of test takers. I began to envision the scholarships and the prestigious law schools. Most of all, I was salivating over the prospect of earning a six figure salary right out of the gate.

However, this attitude caused me to let my guard down. Although I knew the test inside and out, I did not cover all of my bases: I neglected to get onto a regular sleep schedule. The week prior to the test, I stayed up late reading and hanging out with my wife. Why worry? Hell, I could take this test with my eyes closed! The farthest thing from my mind was the possibility that I would not sleep well the night before the test.

So, finally Friday night rolls around. I am totally relaxed about the test, and feel ready to rock it. I have a cup of tea and climb into bed around 9 p.m. I lay there with my eyes open for a few hours. This can not be happening. Why am I having trouble sleeping? Of all nights, why tonight? Oh my God, all of my hard work could be for nothing if I don't get to sleep soon! Shit!!! I try not to let it bother me. To LATE! Its 1:45 am! I finally take a few Tylenol PM and crash out around 3 am. I get up at 6:30 and can barely write my name. I try to do some logic games to warm up my brain, but the words make no sense.

In this confused state drove to the test center. I pounded down 4 cups of coffee, and I actually started to feel pretty good! The test began, and I felt like I was doing great! I finished each section early. I left the test center thinking that I had at least scored in the mid 170s, like I had literally been doing for weeks. The weeks go by, and I feel better and better about my prospects. I had done it! I had beaten the odds and scored very well on three and a half hours of sleep! Finally, I open up the email from LSAT. 163. One point worse that my last score, before I decided to retake.

Although I thought I did well, the lack of sleep did me in. On this test, the margin of error is so small that you can not afford to have an "off day". I missed 21 questions. A few mistakes here and there, and your score will plummet. This was my 3rd and final LSAT score. Literally months of hard work were down the toilet. I did however, learn one very important lesson: You can master the LSAT technically, but no amount of work will save you if you do not take care of the fundamentals. Without the basics: sleep, food, mental clarity, etc, you will not be able to perform to the highest extent of your abilities.

Sure, I wish I could go back and retake the test, but I can not. Many doors are now closed to me because of my lack of foresight. I deserve the score I got because I did not take care of the most basic necessity, sleep. I think people need to hear about this because I am sure that this kind of thing happens to LSAT takers all of the time. YOU MUST BE PREPARED! The more time and energy you invest in this test, the more important it is for you to take care of the basics. Get on a regular sleep schedule. Don't eat anything that will upset your stomach. Be prepared for any bodily function, like getting your period or being sick.

Seriously, if you don't sleep the night before, just cancel. Don't try to be a tough guy/girl and take the test anyway. This is too important for you to make that mistake. If reading this long post helps just one person avoid disaster, I will be happy.

7) Misc comments/suggestions

Aside from taking care of the fundamentals, the most important factor in getting a good score is hard work. It sounds cliche, but the amount of time it takes to improve on this test is huge. Turn off the cell phone. Make sure your family knows that you will be spending less time with them for a few months. Cut down on the social life. You have to make sacrifices to get what you want, but the test is learnable. I believe that almost anyone can drastically improve on the LSAT with enough practice. Sure, for a very small percentage of people, the LSAT is just beyond them. If you have gotten through 4 years of college, you are almost certainly not one of these people. Not everyone can have a 180, but plenty of people can break the 160+ barrier, and I am sure you can too.

Thanks for reading my long ass post, and remember, get enough sleep :) !


Amazing post and great advice. I completely agree...My stats are almost exactly like yours- I went from a 159 to a 163 and now I am gearing up for my third try in Dec. You've definitely impressed on me how important sleep is- I think I will start a 9-10 pm sleep sched within the next week...

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McNulty
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:53 pm

Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby McNulty » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:33 am

1) What score did you get?
164

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
Perused a few sections of the LR Bible, otherwise nada.

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
Testmasters 3 month-ish course.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
Started studying when the TM course started in June 2010. As a college grad of 2008, I have a full-time job that is quite demanding, and couldn't fully commit to the LSAT like some others do. I really wish I would've had my act together immediately after college, because extensive test prep without the hassle of work exhaustion would have been a great benefit. I do recommend Testmasters as long as you're the type of person who can be motivated by a course and some degree of pedagogy. If you don't do the homework, you won't see any magical improvement.

5) How many preptests did you do?
I looked at every released question for the LSAT. However, due to the homework and lesson material provided by Testmasters, it equates to only about 12 timed tests. This is one of the drawbacks of Testmasters.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
Learn how to diagram the LR questions faster. There were at least three questions on the actual exam where I said "fuck it" and made my best guess because my mind wasn't attuned enough to the easy diagramming. I'm talking about the pattern of reasoning type questions, and the questions that have a really short stem and expect you to diagram it out. Maybe I'm just one of those people who struggle at quick diagnoses of LR questions, who knows.

Also, if you are privileged enough to study for the LSAT when you don't have the burden of school or work... TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT. I'll speak for every paralegal or working stiff here when I say that there are just some days that you cannot come home and study. There are some instances where the body and mind are just too f'd up after a 9-5 grind where you are not able to sit down and struggle through some semi-complex logic. It happens more than you'd think.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
Learn how to sleep. I had major sleeping issues (probably due to other factors) during the 3 months leading up to the exam and couldn't rectify them. The night of the test I woke up due to a racing heartbeat at 2 AM and couldn't get myself back down until about 3:30. This is likely in part due to a heart condition I have (awesome, right), however it did not happen with any regularity before that point. Yet, I was someone who stayed up until about 12:30 every night, which isn't good. As someone who wakes up far earlier than any college student does, GET YOUR SLEEP. It is more important than you think.

Also - find out what is your major weakness. On most of my early diags and 'preptests', the assumption questions bit me hard. I buckled down and figured out how to approach them. On the real thing, I nearly aced every "type 2" (assumption) question. However... DON'T ignore what you're "good" at. I aced the first LG section I ever saw in my raw diagnostic. Every preptest after that got -0 to -2 on every single LG section. It just... seemed way too easy to me. This led me to believe that studying was more of a nuisance than a benefit, and I proceeded to focus all of my time on RC and LR. Guess what? -7 on my real LG. Do not ignore something just because you think you are naturally gifted or what-not. Spread your studying evenly because one wrong answer on logical reasoning counts just the same as one wrong answer on logic games.

Last piece of advice: Try to limit the drinking. I burned a ton of brain cells partying on a few weekends in the months leading up to the test and it doesn't help. Have your future in mind.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:18 am

1) What score did you get?
171

2) What books did you use?
SuperPrep, Logic Games for Dummies

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)?
None

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions?
7 weeks, while working 40 hrs/wk (I'm 8 years out of UG)

5) How many preptests did you do?
Around 40

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I would use the spreadsheets to analyze my problem question types. I didn't discover the spreadsheets until about 2 weeks before the test.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
I PTed in all kinds of conditions. Home alone, at a friends' house with people talking to me, with the TV on, at a noisy public library, in a silent office, with an annoying cat on my lap... I pretty much became impervious to distractions.

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arvcondor
Posts: 371
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:33 pm

Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby arvcondor » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:10 pm

Not sure if this thread is oversaturated with information by now, but whatever.

1) What score did you get?
164

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
Princeton Review, Kaplan, Kaplan 180, tons of tests offline


3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
Knewon. It was two days a week, and we had homework.


4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
For what felt like an eternity. I started studying in March for the June test, then didn't take the June test for personal reasons. I simply kept studying, then took October.

5) How many preptests did you do?
Around 10

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I would LOOK AT EVERY QUESTION I GOT WRONG AND FIGURE OUT WHY I GOT IT WRONG. If there is a single thing I've kicked myself over since I got my score, it's that I didn't review my responses thoroughly enough.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
Just do that one thing for a couple months and you'll be fine.

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arvcondor
Posts: 371
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby arvcondor » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:10 pm

no idea why this double posted

doing_it_in_a_car
Posts: 147
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby doing_it_in_a_car » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:58 pm

1) What score did you get?
17x

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
None, just Testmasters books.

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
I took Testmasters' full length course in the month before the September 09 test, but I was only doing a quarter or so of the homework they assigned. My score on the cold diagnostic was 150, and my final (fourth) diagnostic score was 168.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc).
I started cramming seriously for the Oct 10 test in August 10 (concurrent with an internship). I revisited my old Testmasters books, erased all the work in them and worked through the entire curriculum again on my own. After dinner on weeknights I would go to the neighborhood Starbucks and run practice sections/full tests. It got quite noisy at times in Starbucks, but by studying in such an atmosphere I attempted to condition myself to focus on command.

I kept track of every question I missed and would revisit them occasionally to rework them in my head. Also, I would run super-sessions of 10-15 RC passages/logic games in a row - as tests of endurance.

5) How many preptests did you do?
~10 averaging ~169

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
Get a hold of more PT's and do them. I only had a few downloaded on my computer (compliments of Testmasters). Somehow it never occurred to me to go out and buy more tests.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
In the days leading up to your LSAT, RELAX and have some FUN!
Last edited by doing_it_in_a_car on Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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melelolo
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby melelolo » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:51 am

1) What score did you get?
174

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
I started out using Kaplan some, and Princeton Review a little (I thought Princeton Review was useless), but quickly realized that the questions weren't really all that similar to real questions and then moved to only using the Prep books from LSAC.

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
None.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc).
Um. Every Saturday I would take a full length test at Barnes and Noble (so there were plenty of distractions). I would try to look over the questions that I missed during the week, but due to my busy schedule, I really just took the one test on the weekend. I did this for about 3 months.

5) How many preptests did you do?
Probably like 20, total.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
ONLY USE the preptests. They were BY FAR the most useful tool. Some of the techniques from Kaplan were a bit helpful, but the tests they gave were not.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

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The Gentleman
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby The Gentleman » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:36 pm

1) What score did you get?
- 171

2) What books did you use?
- Anything and everything recommended by LSAT Blog. PS Bibles, official PTs, sudoku puzzles, A Rulebook for Arguments, and the Kaplan 180 book for a little extra practice on LG.

3) What prep courses did you take? (if any)
- None. As long as you're willing to invest the time and stay disciplined, then self-study is much more effective (and cheaper) than a prep course.

4) How long did you study and under what conditions?
- 20-30 hrs a week for 4.5 months. I was out of school and between jobs for the first 2 months of my prep, so I had no problem putting in the time and effort. The last two months, however, were a little more crazy. I started a new job and initially struggled with balancing prep w/ work. Eventually I got the hang of it though. Having other responsibilities and concerns aside from LSAT prep is actually a good thing.

5) How many prep tests did you take?
- I worked through nearly every available PT during the course of my prep. I used older tests (1-38) for section drilling/familiarization in the first half of my prep and the more recent PTs (39-60 & Superprep) as full-blown 5 section exams in the latter half.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
- Understand your body's reaction to caffeine and stress. You will be jacked up and ready to go on test day so consider reducing your standard caffeine consumption. 5 hr energy never made jumpy during PTs, but test day nerves combined with the caffeine to really put me over the edge. I was visibly shaking during my first section and didn't really calm down until section four. 9 of my 10 misses came before the break. -4 RC/-5 LR_______-0 LG/-1 LR.

7) Any other misc. comments/suggestions?
- I went to a Kaplan proctored LSAT the Saturday before the actual test. The conditions were pretty bad: staff were talking loudly outside the room, test takers were checking their phones/eating loudly, and the proctor was typing on his laptop the entire time. Despite the distractions, I scored fairly well on that practice test. (171, same as the actual) That gave me a great deal of confidence in knowing that whatever happened on test day, I could shut it out. I would HIGHLY recommend going to one of these.

geminivegitarian
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby geminivegitarian » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:57 pm

nStiver wrote:1) What score did you get?

158, 164, 163

2) What books did you use?

Powerscore Logic Games Bible, Logical Reasoning Bible. Kaplan Mastery

3) What courses did you take?

I took a Kaplan course, but I do not recommend it. But then again, my teacher was awful. She ended the class 1-2 hours early every day and was proud of it, like teaching faster was better. She would boast that "None of the other teachers finish that fast! Wow!". She acted annoyed when students asked questions and she blew through the material as fast as she could.

The best part about the course is that they give you tons of materials to work with. They literally give you a 2.5 foot high pile of books, printed on very thin paper. They give you thousands of real problems to work with. The most useful book they give you is the Mastery Practice, which breaks down hundreds of lsat questions into various categories and presents them in order of increasing difficulty.

However, I can not recommend the Kaplan course to my fellow students because, in my humble opinion, the quality of their instruction is inferior to many other test prep companies. I do not even think courses are necessary, but if you really feel that you must take one, shell out the extra $ and take a course with PowerScore, TM, or Manhattan LSAT. These companies provide the sophisticated test taker with the means to score very well on the LSAT if you put in the necessary amount of work. No course or prep book will help you without hard work, however, so do not take a course in the hope that it will motivate you to study--that must come from within.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions?

I studied off and on for a little over a year. During this time, I took the test three times. I studied during school, when school was out, when I was working a lot, and when I hardly worked at all.

5) I did almost all of the prep tests.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again.

SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP!!!! The moral of my story is sleep!! Get on a regular sleep cycle at least two weeks before you take the test. Go to bed early, get up early. All of your hard work could end up being for nothing if you do not get enough sleep the night before the test. This is a very real danger. I am sure that every year 1000s of test takers score drastically below their PT average because they did not sleep well the night before the test. This happened to me, please learn from my mistakes so it does not happen to you.

Allow me to explain. When I first decided to attend law school I took a practice LSAT which was proctored by law students at the University of New Mexico. I scored a 147. I moved up fairly quickly once I started studying. I took a Kaplan course, but found that self study and the Bibles were more effective. One can not expect to improve off of the 4 proctored tests Kaplan gives you in their course. Hence, I began to work through the tests. I took the real LSAT and I scored a 158, which was somewhat disappointing. I vowed to improve my score, so I studied intensely for a few more months, practiced the shit out of logic games, and did more practice tests. My second LSAT I got a 164, the 90th percentile. While this is a good score, I still knew I could do better. I began to do a section of LG every day. I eventually started to score in the mid 170s on practice tests. By this point, I knew the LSAT like the back of my hand. I was supremely comfortable with any and all logic games. I began to take tests with only 30 minutes per section. I got to the point where I could score in the 170s while only allowing myself 30 minute sections.

I had come a long way since my 147 diagnostic. Needless to say, I was quite impressed with myself. I liked the attention I got from my friends when they raved about my 90th percentile score. I knew that if I got in the mid 170s, I would have done better than almost 99% of test takers. I began to envision the scholarships and the prestigious law schools. Most of all, I was salivating over the prospect of earning a six figure salary right out of the gate.

However, this attitude caused me to let my guard down. Although I knew the test inside and out, I did not cover all of my bases: I neglected to get onto a regular sleep schedule. The week prior to the test, I stayed up late reading and hanging out with my wife. Why worry? Hell, I could take this test with my eyes closed! The farthest thing from my mind was the possibility that I would not sleep well the night before the test.

So, finally Friday night rolls around. I am totally relaxed about the test, and feel ready to rock it. I have a cup of tea and climb into bed around 9 p.m. I lay there with my eyes open for a few hours. This can not be happening. Why am I having trouble sleeping? Of all nights, why tonight? Oh my God, all of my hard work could be for nothing if I don't get to sleep soon! Shit!!! I try not to let it bother me. To LATE! Its 1:45 am! I finally take a few Tylenol PM and crash out around 3 am. I get up at 6:30 and can barely write my name. I try to do some logic games to warm up my brain, but the words make no sense.

In this confused state drove to the test center. I pounded down 4 cups of coffee, and I actually started to feel pretty good! The test began, and I felt like I was doing great! I finished each section early. I left the test center thinking that I had at least scored in the mid 170s, like I had literally been doing for weeks. The weeks go by, and I feel better and better about my prospects. I had done it! I had beaten the odds and scored very well on three and a half hours of sleep! Finally, I open up the email from LSAT. 163. One point worse that my last score, before I decided to retake.

Although I thought I did well, the lack of sleep did me in. On this test, the margin of error is so small that you can not afford to have an "off day". I missed 21 questions. A few mistakes here and there, and your score will plummet. This was my 3rd and final LSAT score. Literally months of hard work were down the toilet. I did however, learn one very important lesson: You can master the LSAT technically, but no amount of work will save you if you do not take care of the fundamentals. Without the basics: sleep, food, mental clarity, etc, you will not be able to perform to the highest extent of your abilities.

Sure, I wish I could go back and retake the test, but I can not. Many doors are now closed to me because of my lack of foresight. I deserve the score I got because I did not take care of the most basic necessity, sleep. I think people need to hear about this because I am sure that this kind of thing happens to LSAT takers all of the time. YOU MUST BE PREPARED! The more time and energy you invest in this test, the more important it is for you to take care of the basics. Get on a regular sleep schedule. Don't eat anything that will upset your stomach. Be prepared for any bodily function, like getting your period or being sick.

Seriously, if you don't sleep the night before, just cancel. Don't try to be a tough guy/girl and take the test anyway. This is too important for you to make that mistake. If reading this long post helps just one person avoid disaster, I will be happy.

7) Misc comments/suggestions

Aside from taking care of the fundamentals, the most important factor in getting a good score is hard work. It sounds cliche, but the amount of time it takes to improve on this test is huge. Turn off the cell phone. Make sure your family knows that you will be spending less time with them for a few months. Cut down on the social life. You have to make sacrifices to get what you want, but the test is learnable. I believe that almost anyone can drastically improve on the LSAT with enough practice. Sure, for a very small percentage of people, the LSAT is just beyond them. If you have gotten through 4 years of college, you are almost certainly not one of these people. Not everyone can have a 180, but plenty of people can break the 160+ barrier, and I am sure you can too.

Thanks for reading my long ass post, and remember, get enough sleep :) !


You are a wonderful person for sharing this. Thank you so much :)

nStiver
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby nStiver » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:26 am

geminivegitarian wrote:
You are a wonderful person for sharing this. Thank you so much :)


Hey thanks, it makes me feel good to hear the positive feedback my post got. Seriously though, take care of the basics if you are serious about the test. Taking the LSAT on little to no sleep is like trying to run a marathon without drinking water. Your mind needs sleep like a car needs gas. Just my two cents.

ShakinNotStirred
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby ShakinNotStirred » Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:38 am

1) What score did you get? 164 (June 2009), 172 (October 2010)

2) What books did you use? LG & LR Bibles, all three of the Next 10 series, all the individually released preptests

3) What prep courses did you take? Powerscore weekend course - I honestly don't remember a single thing from it. In my experience the key to improving your performance is practice; you can't go into a weekend course expecting to learn something that will magically improve your score. It is just too short a timeframe for any significant gains.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? I was working full-time both times I took the LSAT. The first time I did the LG & LR Bibles and a few full-length tests (not a great plan). The second time I studied 6-7 days a week for 2-3.5 hours a night in my office after work (I was deployed to Afghanistan so I didn't really have anywhere else to go, there was definitely plenty of background noise/interruptions for me to practice blocking out). I worked through both of the Bibles for a second time and then worked my way through every single preptest.

5) How many preptests did you do? Every single available test, at least once. For those considering a retake but out of fresh material, I would say that there is definitely still value in taking a preptest more than once.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again? I should NOT have taken the LSAT the first time. It seems basic, but don't expect to score any higher on the actual test than you are on your preptests - if you are not satisfied with your current preptest average then don't take the test. The LSAT is learnable, but you are going to have to put the work in to improve your score.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions. This mainly applies to people who have trouble with the logic games, but DO EVERY SINGLE GAME, at least once each. Initially, my biggest weakness was logic games. On the June 2009 LSAT I went into the test planning on only completing 3 games; I ended up completely guessing on the entire dinos game. When studying for my second go-round, I made copies of every logic game, would do them randomly during the day, and used old games as my experimental fifth section for my timed prep tests. On the day of the test I forgot one of the rules on my second game, but finished the entire section early enough that I was able to go back and correct my mistake. Logic games went from being my worst section to my best, despite the fact that I absolutely hated/completely sucked at them for a long time. Also - for any military guys out there, know that you can take the LSAT while deployed. You just need to request a non-disclosed testing location.

Sandro
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby Sandro » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:27 am

1) What score did you get?
157 - 164

2) What books did you use? LG LR Bibles, Almost every prep test available

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
Powerscore Online. Waste of money, just a re hash of the bibles.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc) Doing almost all the PTs + review on a lot probably took a ong time

5) How many preptests did you do?
A bunch, some I took before i really got "good" at the test so I didn't want to retake them

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
What I'm doing right now - trying a new LG book (atlas) and drilling tons of LG. Also going over PTs 50ish-61 and doing them again timed/untimed to get a better feel for LR and RC. LG is such a bitch that you really cant feel good unless you are PTing at -0/-1 and even then there are many people who bomb it....

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Put in work, smartly. Taking 40 PTs with no review will not help you as much as they could. Quickly identify your weakness and come up with a plan to obliterate it, or it will obliterate you.

iwhipmyhair
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby iwhipmyhair » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:04 pm

1) What score did you get?
167--never took a diagnostic but it likely would've been around 150.

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
Powerscore LRB and LGB

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
None

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
Graduated in May, spent May-October with no obligations other than study. Probably averaged 4 serious hours/day (including occasional full days off). I found that it was counterproductive for me to study more than that, that was all my brain could handle!

5) How many preptests did you do?
All three of those "10 LSAT" books, and all the individual preptests that are commonly available. Started with doing individual timed sections, but probably did the last 15-20 preptests all the way through.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I would've planned ahead better and taken the June test. I walked into the October test with the weight of the world on my shoulders--even though I consider myself pretty calm under pressure, the nerves definitely limited my sleep the night before and negatively affected my score. I think that having two good cracks at the test would've calmed my nerves and got my score closer to my preptest average (170-173).

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

I'm writing this now to hopefully motivate some studiers who are having a tough time. Unlike many here, I absolutely did not have the inherent mental aptitude for this test. Though I had hoped to go to law school straight out of UG, I realized that I needed to study balls to the wall for months to get any kind of real improvement. I hated the concept, but I ultimately decided to take the year after graduation off, largely to study for the LSAT.

The summer I spent studying quite plainly sucked. It felt terrible to watch my fellow graduates go on to bigger and better things while I lived at home literally in my parents' basement, but I kept reminding myself that it was all for a good reason. At first I made no improvement whatsoever with my studying. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that even after a month of heavy study, I would've tested around -16-17 in LG alone. Getting owned by the test started to take a huge toll on my self-esteem, as I had always been a top student and had never felt this overwhelmed by material (even on standardized tests). I began seriously questioning my intelligence and for a while considered skipping law school altogether because of the embarrassment I felt. I really felt like I didn't have what it took to make it on this test.

Despite the way things were going, I pushed forward. Over the following months, I never had an "a-ha!" moment, but I noticed my scores slowly getting higher and higher. I started to understand that the LSAT wasn't an unpredictable black box, but rather a predictable exercise that tested the same skills over and over again. Though even by gameday I was obviously still stumped by lots of questions (under the time constraint), the test gradually lost it's fear factor over me, and I think that's what made all the difference. My confidence grew by the week and by the day the test came, I was really pumped to ace it.

I didn't get quite the score I wanted, but for me it ended up being enough. Without taking the summer off to study, my LSAT/GPA combo wasn't even competitive for my state's 3rd tier flagship. Today, I got in early decision to one of the MVP schools. My friends and family thought my plan was crazy, but studying for those 5 months was the best investment decision I ever made. I'm now going to attend my dream school next year and have job prospects that would be simply nonexistent if I had not confronted my fears and studied.

Admitting to myself that I was no good at the test and painstakingly working through all of my weaknesses was literally one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Along the same vein, I can't remember ever being happier than I was earlier when I found that fat acceptance packet in my mailbox. I think that many kids who half-ass their study efforts do so because deep down they're afraid of giving it their all and failing. I'm so glad that I overcame my fears and would strongly recommend everyone else to do the same. You won't regret it.

Edit-- I'm drunk off Loko's pregaming my celebratory pregame, and may or may not currently be whipping my hair back and forth

skeez1234
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby skeez1234 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:23 am

I think it's quite clear that most reasonable people can do well on the logical reasoning and reading comprehension sections without much prep at all. That was true in my case. But it's also quite clear that the logic games don't come naturally to most of us. That was also true in my case. So, if you really want to score well on the LSAT, and you're not a genius, you need to spend significant chunks of your life practicing the games.

Personally, I didn't do that and scored a 158 with prep that consisted exclusively of an extra cup of coffee that morning. I ended up just staring at the games; I didn't even know where to begin. I went to a TTT school. I realize I'm something of a second-class citizen in the legal world because of that, but I also graduated 10/149, AmJured 4 classes, scored a 181 on the MBE (~98th percentile), and landed a judicial clerkship. And if I meet up with some of you guys on the other side of some issue somewhere, you're free to think those hours spent diagramming grouping games are gonna help you, but I think you might be wrong.

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Deep Trench
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby Deep Trench » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:27 pm

1) What score did you get?
Cancel, 179

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
Powerscore LGB
Powerscore LRB

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
None

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
6 months before June test. After canceling, studied 3 1/2 more months for Oct test. All while working full-time.

5) How many preptests did you do?
Before June test, I used up about 25 for drills and 25 more for preptests. I re-used all 50 for preptests before Oct test.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
Before June test, I practiced LG too mechanically. Following Pithypike's advice, I divided all LG from PT 9~38 into different types and repeated them many times, trying to do them as fast as I could. This approach didn't seem to hurt me when I was doing the preptests. I got mostly -0 and -1. However, when I sat for the real test in June, "do them as fast I can" approach and the added adrenaline made me feel rushed. I misread rules and failed to make key inferences. After bombing LG and canceling June test, I changed my approach to practicing LG. Instead of practicing individual games by their types, I practiced an entire section of four games at a time. Instead of trying to do them faster, I slowed down and became more methodical. It was comforting to know that most LG sections can be finished under 30 minutes even when you spend time to identify all possibilities before attacking the questions. Many people claim that LG is their best section and end up bombing it on the real test. LG can seem easy when you have no pressure, but it can be extremely tough when adrenaline is pumping hard. In order to combat the adrenaline rush, you need to be more adaptable and methodical than rigid and mechanical.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
Before June test, I was stuck at low 170's with occasional mid 170's. After canceling June test, I did not have any new PT to practice so I ended up repeating PT that I have taken before. Since I was already familiar with the questions, my PT average went up dramatically. I averaged 178, and 40% of them were 180. I think this experience taught me what it takes to score high 170's. When I took the real test in Oct, it didn't feel much different than the repeat PT's that I have done, and my score came out right where I was averaging. I think repeating PT's can be helpful even if you haven't run out of fresh PT.

By the way, it is possible to do well even if you do not get a good sleep the night before the test. I slept very well before June test, but I ended up canceling the score. In Oct, I slept maybe 30 minutes total, and adrenaline carried me all the way through the test. So, adrenaline is not all bad after all.
Last edited by Deep Trench on Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Adjudicator
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby Adjudicator » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:33 pm

1) What score did you get?
164 (Feb 09), 175 (Oct 10)

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
Powerscore LGB
Powerscore LRB

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
None

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
Around 3 months, during a time when I was not in school and also not working.

5) How many preptests did you do?
I know I did PTs 49-60 in full, and numerous earlier tests in full as well, and I did all the LG sections from any PTs that I didn't do in full.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
Find a way to eliminate careless errors... even when I was averaging 177 on PTs, I was making 1 or 2 "stupid" mistakes one every test.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
Step 1: Learn to approach and solve the test problems. Step 2: Practice, practice, practice until you can do it quickly.

grapharm
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby grapharm » Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:54 am

MOD EDIT: no.

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Birdlaw
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby Birdlaw » Sat Dec 25, 2010 5:05 pm

1) What score did you get?
163

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
Powerscore - LG Bible, RC Bible, LR Bible. All Next 10 LSAT Books. Most recent LSATs from LSAC.org

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
None

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
Four months. During summer and school year until October. Woke up early about 3-4 days a week to study and took a practice every week. Did drills with the older LSATs because I thought they wouldn't be as close to the most recent tests (not totally sure if that's true).

5) How many preptests did you do?
Roughly 15. Used the rest for drills.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
Get someone to proctor the test for you. This might seem like a really tall order for a friend who has absolutely no interest in going to law school, but it really is needed to get you ready for the big day. No matter how many practices I took, it was never like it was on test day, obviously I timed myself, but its still not the same.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions
Check out these boards for more advice, it is kind of annoying that everyone gets a lot higher scores than I will ever get, but it poses a really good opportunity to talk to people who score in the 99th percentile.

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WhatSarahSaid
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby WhatSarahSaid » Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:19 am

1) What score did you get?

June '10: 173
October '10: 174

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)

I read through about half of the LGB (the first few chapters seem much more useful than the rest).

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?

None.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)

In the first few months of 2010, I studied very loosely. I did maybe one test every couple of weeks while slowly going through the LGB. In April, I started to do a test every week, and through May, I did ~3-5 tests a week.

In May, I started to mess around with taking the test in different places, some of which were loud and hectic. Can't really say if this had an effect, but it made me feel better.

5) How many preptests did you do?

Probably around 25. I made sure to do every single one from about PT 43 to PT 59, then mixed in the rest from PTs 10-40. My experimental sections came mostly from PTs 30-40.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?

I would have been more prepared for the actual test day experience the first time. I read all about how you could expect problems on test day and how your score would be less than your PT results, but I didn't buy it. The thing that killed me in June was the long wait between actually getting to the testing room and starting the first section. We were in a huge room and it took ~75-90 minutes to go from "sit down" to "take the test." That time sitting there and thinking about how much the test counted really messed with me. My 173 shocked me (I expected something like 167-171, which was way lower than my PT scores, but in line with how I felt), but I knew I could do better so I took it again.

Was that one extra point worth having two scores on my record? I can't say, but I don't regret it because I knew I wouldn't be okay with letting that 173 stand.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Focus on staying positive during prep. If you start to feel burnt out, you need to take time off. If you walk into the room on test day completely sick of the test, that will kill you.

Perspective helps. If you're averaging, say, a 164 in prep, be aware that nine out of every ten LSAT-takers do worse than you and be proud of that. Whether that's good enough for you or not depends on your goals, of course, but it can be easy to read these boards and think that everyone except you scores in the 170s, and that's very far from the case.

Do not go easy on yourself during prep. If you bubble in an answer different than the one you intended to bubble in, don't count your score as if you had bubbled it in correctly. Don't give yourself an extra thirty seconds because "it's just practice." Don't use a mechanical pencil (okay, I broke that one). Your performance on test day will reflect how you practiced.

Most of all, know that you have more control over the LSAT than any other part of your application. This is remarkably fortunate, given that the LSAT is the most important part of the application. Don't forget that, and exercise that control.

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kkklick
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby kkklick » Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:39 am

WhatSarahSaid wrote:Do not go easy on yourself during prep. If you bubble in an answer different than the one you intended to bubble in, don't count your score as if you had bubbled it in correctly. Don't give yourself an extra thirty seconds because "it's just practice." Don't use a mechanical pencil (okay, I broke that one). Your performance on test day will reflect how you practiced.

Most of all, know that you have more control over the LSAT than any other part of your application. This is remarkably fortunate, given that the LSAT is the most important part of the application. Don't forget that, and exercise that control.

Excellent points.




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